Annika Sorenstam ruled out continuing as captain of the Europe team after they lost the Solheim Cup to the United States.

The hosts retained the trophy with a 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 success in Des Moines, Iowa, maintaining control on the final day after surging ahead with a sweep of Saturday afternoon’s fourball matches.

Sorenstam said afterwards: “I said this was a one-time thing for me. It is time to move the torch to the next person.

“I am very honoured (to be captain). We had a great leadership team and players to work with and I couldn’t have asked for anymore.”

The hosts, who resumed with a lead of 10 1/2 to 5 1/2, increased their advantage as Cristie Kerr won 2&1 against Mel Reid, and Paula Creamer finished one up against Georgia Hall.

Lexi Thompson halved against Anna Nordqvist before the United States reached the 13 1/2 points they needed to be sure of retaining the trophy with Angel Yin’s half point against Karine Icher.

The win was confirmed soon after when Lizette Salas beat Jodi Ewart Shadoff one up, sparking scenes of celebration on the 18th green.

The hosts’ lead was extended to 15 1/2 to 9 1/2 when Gerina Piller needed only one of the two putts available to seal victory over Florentyna Parker.

Although Charley Hull and Madelene Sagstrom recorded wins over Brittany Lang and Austin Ernst to trim the deficit to 15 1/2 to 11 1/2, Danielle Kang wrapped up a 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 triumph by defeating Emily Pedersen 3&1.

Europe’s other winners on the final day were Catriona Matthew, who beat Stacy Lewis one up, Caroline Masson, who defeated Michelle Wie 4&2 and Carlota Ciganda, a 4&3 conqueror of Brittany Linicome.

Sorenstam continued on Sky Sports: “It has been a great week for women’s golf.

“If you have watched the last week then it has been some of the better golf you will have seen in a long time. It has been great to be part of it.

“I am extremely proud. We fought so hard. It wasn’t easy today, we decided to give it all we had and fight to the end – and we did that.

“We did everything we could. The team was extremely helpful and co-operative. Sometimes you are outplayed and that is what happened this week. I want to congratulate the US team, they played awesome golf.”

United States captain Juli Inkster revealed table tennis played a part in the success.

She explained: “I’m glad we had the lead because Europe came out fighting.

“But we did enough to get the victory. I’ve got a great group of gals. We had great preparation. I tried to not make things too regimented. We had lots of banter and played lots of ping pong.”

Salas added on Sky Sports: “To secure the point that wins us the Solheim Cup is unbelievable. My hands were shaking. This is really special.”

Former world number one Tiger Woods was quick to take to social media to pass on his congratulations to the winning team.

He tweeted: “What an amazing day for @Lexi and the @SolheimCupUSA team. That was some inspirational golf. Congrats on winning the Cup.”